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  1. Bernie has no problem paying for his programs.
  2. https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/former-playboy-model-claims-she-had-affair-trump-report-says-n848601 Her friends say she broke it off when trump insulted her mother and made racist comments about her friend.
  3. The problem of Venezuela

    I'm a big fan of the 95% part of the plan as you are. Sad that it was so motivated, like so much good policy, not by the right reasons but by selfish reasons to try to defeat the communists. And as big a fan of FDR as I am, we can look to FDR for our first preferences - he wanted to make Germany a permanently agrarian society denied any industry, and to line up Nazi leaders and shoot them one day rather than have the Nuremberg trials. Also unfortunate how little we seemed to care about Nazi sympathies. Whether from people named 'Bush, or the Dulles brothers where Foster had openly supported the leadership or Allen had recruited and protected Nazi leaders for US benefit - defying even his own government, yet these things did not prevent them from running US foreign policy Imagine Russia did that.. The cold war was somewhat ironic in how it causes some good policies, just as the Civil War had pretty unintentionally led to the end of slavery. It seems likely we would not have put a man on the moon had we not done it because of a hysterical fear of the Soviets making it politically appealing to beat them, rather than doing it primarily for the direct benefits. US policy that had long supported brutal European colonies changed less for humanitarian reasons than attempting to prevent the colonies from being recruited by the Soviets.
  4. The problem of Venezuela

    There's not much point to debating the semantics of the word corruption, but I think it was corruption in the broader sense of the word, not the narrow sense that the people doing it were personally profiting. The Dulles brothers' background was running the most powerful New York law firm representing powerful corporate clients and their interests, and it was those corporate interests that played a central role to their ideology and policies. A clear example is the coup in Guatemala they arranged to protect the United Fruit Companies' oppressive power. The 5% was corrupt in the sense of already making it US policy to secretly corrupt elections and other things, killing thousands and committing terrorism, all in the name of protecting our 'interests', defined especially as our corporate interests, leading the world to the higher risk of war and nuclear war all to grab power. Broadly, I view it as corruption.
  5. The problem of Venezuela

    I recently learned 5% of the Marshall plan funding secretly was given to the CIA for use in sabotage and other subversion in other countries. Ya, lots of corruption.
  6. Looking for a set of responses

    If you didn't vote for Hillary, I think you made a big mistake, for all her flaws - and helped trump win, in principle if not fact depending on your state. I watched Kamala Harris rise, and have shared your suspicions of her for doing so, as an 'annointed' Democratic politician, just as Obama was - but I've liked her in the Senate so far and will appreciate her good work there, while maintaining suspicion as she seems being pushed to run for president. I've long told progressives to watch out that as progressives get powerful, we'll see a lot of phony progressives run. I think this 'parties policing themselves' is a bit naive.
  7. Looking for a set of responses

    I disagree with you about MSNBC 'shilling for the DNC' or being comparable to Fox - a network that was originally planned to be called "GOP TV". The fact that some hosts are pretty much always on the same side as Democrats isn't "shilling", or false as Fox is. Can there be some 'liberal bias'? Yes. Part of politics is things like values, not facts. I'm fine with that. MSNBC itself is not 'liberal' as you note on its right-wing firing of Donahue. It's only airing liberal content as a business strategy, very reluctantly. They put a right-winger in charge who has been regularly firing liberals, and it's owned by the huge corporation Comcast. There's a lot of tension between the network and its liberal hosts. No, it's not a right-wing agenda. Sometimes progressives help the right-wing by choosing divisiveness over unity, refusing to vote for Democrats - my position is to fight for progressive nominees but almost always vote for the Democrat regardless - but that doesn't make them right-wing. But I also disagree with you that the Democratic Party is doing 'nothing' for that agenda. There are reasons Bernie ran as a Democrat. Our progressive battle is to try to take over the Democratic Party, but in the meantime, there are many progressive Democrats - the Progressive Caucus is the largest in Congress - who support that agenda. Our previous disagreement was just about the word liberal, where you seemed to limit its definitions to the classical and the Republican version, excluding the primary definition.
  8. Looking for a set of responses

    Oh, I agree. The communists think they would transition to 'real communism', but as I said, there are inherent flaws in the system in the way of that. But as we both said, we've made it a lot worse than it needs to be. Democracy is horribly fragile, always under attack by some group trying to gain advantage whether a communist party or the most wealthy or a royal family.
  9. We support progressive, Democratic Socialist policies - and we like to point at countries such as in Scandanavia as examples. And we cheer when left governments take power to our south in places such as Bolivia or Ecuador. We have an explanation for the problems in Cuba that's rather specific to the cold war history. We have answer when a left government such as in Brazil might seem to get involved in corruption, that it's about that leader/system/culture and not inherent to the left politics. But Venezuela is a real problem. Venezuela had a history of right-wing corruption, of oppression and neglect for its indigenous population, of plutocracy, and Hugo Chavez was a victory for the poor. It was a real battle as the right pulled out all the stops to fight him - getting US support for a coup that briefly succeeded, and waging economic warfare where the rich tried to break the economy for six months to blackmail the people into removing Chavez, and the people won. But the results were mixed, and the economy has worsened - in recent years under the current president, greatly. It's in economic crisis, leading to high crime rates and other problems - and the left-wing government resorting to oppressive measures to retain power. It's not a success story for the left, and I don't think it's clearly understood why or how to fix it, the only alternative being for it to be defeated and the right to return to power. It's painting a message that THAT"S what progressive government leads to - Bernie Sanders has been confronted with the failure (and he disavows Venezuela as a model). I think we'd all benefit from trying to better understand, why haven't left policies worked in Venezuela, and how can it be fixed? Talking to Venezuelans has been of little value - I've read that nearly all Venezuelans who were able to leave the country for the US were in the privileged group that has always hated the left, so it's a bit like talking to a trump supporter about Obama. Primarily for humanitarian reasons, but also to help Venezuela not be a poster child for the right, it'd be nice to look at how to fix it. We really don't need another left-wing disaster to wrongly suggest that Democratic Socialism leads to mass poverty and oppression, as the right wants to claim.
  10. Looking for a set of responses

    It's rather amazing and appalling how often this comes up in this country not understanding its own roots. The point to democracy is for the people to have power - the artificial power of a vote - in contrast to a small minority holding power over most, rulers they did not choose. It doesn't matter whether it's a representative democracy or a direct democracy on the issue, the point is the people ruling themselves rather than not having the power to do so. The only type of democracy that has ever ruled more than a city is representative democracy, and the Republicans' point is irrelevant, misguided, and wrong. When they challenge the word democracy on the technical issue, ignoring the fact that 'democracy' is a broader term that includes republic and is used the way I describe above, and has been by every US president, they're trying to distort the word.
  11. Looking for a set of responses

    More than that, I'd suggest that most of the right-wing voters have simply got caught up in a sort of 'desire to win at any price' where they are blinded to right and wrong and who they're really supporting, and simply 'cheering' for their side against the 'enemy' of Democrats. They're oblivious to the harm they're supporting. It's a sort of con-man psychology.
  12. Looking for a set of responses

    Equating Fox and MSNBC is yet another right-wing point, and 'moderate, reasonable decent' human beings sell quite well on MSNBC.
  13. Looking for a set of responses

    I'm not going to defend communism or its history of going to authoritarianism - it seems to me one of its fundamental issues is the pressure to develop 'elites' and injustice, just as our own system has a fundamental problem of moving to plutocracy. But I think the story is more complicated. One way in how much the west has pushed communism into that direction. The Soviet revolution from day one had the west trying to overthrow it - the US sent Marines into Russia to fight soon after the revolution, which most Americans don't know - and they quickly were fighting for their revolution against the world. Powerful forces in the US made 'Bolshevism' the great evil in the world to fight, not because it was yet Stalinist evil - he wasn't in charge yet - but because it threatened the plutocrats (the other royal rulers who had been related to the Czar's family, and US business interests). They were terrified of the people in the west also revolting against oppression. Another is how, then, the rest of the WWII allies dragged their feet in WWII so that Russia bore the huge brunt of the war with Hitler, losing 20 million, always promising to launch a European attack but delaying a long time letting Russia weaken the Nazis until they finally launched D-day - and then immediately starting the cold war. Western leaders even during the war had made the Soviets into the great threat to the west, claiming the Soviets had a plan for global domination and claiming basically anything was justified against the Soviets, creating the cold war tensions that hurt so many. That helped further push the USSR into authoritarianism rather than an era of peace. The Soviets understandably, given the history, desperately wanted a ring of protection against an invasion, and installed regimes under their control in countries surrounding them, and the west did the rest of turning the world into a global conflict where every nation was pressured to 'choose sides'. For example, the Cuban missile crisis followed the US putting nuclear missiles on the Soviets' border in Turkey - it was ok for us to put missiles on their border, but not for them to put missiles on ours, that justified nuclear war. Kennedy knew how weak that double standard was and got a big victory with Kruschev backing down, to Kruschev's credit. Another way it's more complicated is, for example, that I met a man in the US from Yugoslovia, as a repairman, and when he started to tell me of the history of his country, he seemed ready to cry saying how happy the country had been, with everyone caring about everyone else, a strong community, singing songs. You don't hear about that much, but the idea of communism not having any chance of being anything but oppressive communism seems unproven, despite the horrible history in the largest cases such as Stalin and Mao, and inherent problems in the system - as we're seeing in the purportedly socialist Venezuela today. (Cuba would also fit into the narrative of a leader who had long seen suffering at the hands of the west, creating an authoritarian regime to withstand massive war on it by the US.) The fact that communists and liberals - especially progressives - overlap on some issues from caring about literacy to wanting universal healthcare (Cuba had been the leader to the south of the US in providing healthcare) doesn't mean liberals have communisms' flaws, depsite right-wing lies claiming they're the same. For example, Reagan before he was in politics being hired by the AMA to be their national spokesman opposing the creation of Medicare, saying that Medicare would destroy freedom in the US, making us socialist (like the communists). I'd argue Mao gets that title - and others competed on a smaller scale such as Pol Pot. A fundamental flaw in communism is that it both preserves the 'plutocracy' problem, replacing wealth with political connections for an elite class, while also stripping wealth past the point of combating plutocracy to remove reward for good performance too much crippling the economy. It relies too much on expecting people to simply be so patriotic and caring about others, that they'll labor for society's benefit, and it demands that so much that it becomes pretty oppressive in trying to enforce it, with people motivated more to pretend to agree to escape punishment. One last point is the interesting note how communism has evolved. Russia and China have both officially denounced their histories of Stalin and Mao respectively and taken steps to prevent recurrance, and evolved. China in particular has changed to a state that is competing pretty damn well against the US - its ability to have strong government planning of goals for the country is enabling it to do things like invest to become the world leader in the industry of green technology while the US is crippled in its ability to compete by the fossil fuel companies buying our government. We're facing great competition this century from China while we protect billionaires instead of having a more competitive economy. China is going around the world investing in infrastructure and construction, preparing to surpass our economy. We're about to lose our position of world leadership to them as we get weaker. We're seeing record inequality and for the first time shorter lifespans in the US in trends that only appear to be continuing indefinitely and are expected to get worse.
  14. Looking for a set of responses

    But you're also excluding the main definition of liberal, leaving only 'free thinking' or the Republican 'commie' which you reject, and not recognizing the primary definition today, of the American 'left' politics - which is neither communist nor simply 'free thinking'. There are 'free thinking' liberals and liberals who aren't so 'free-thinking'. For example, if someone strongly supports civil rights or labor rights because they benefit from them, it might lead them to be a 'liberal' but not so much for 'free-thinking' reasons. In more liberal political periods in the country, 'liberal' was more 'mainstream', sometimes with even Republicans largely giving lip service to the policies; in today's plutocracy, there is a strong plutocratic factions that runs things, even if they don't admit it, with much of the country demonizing 'liberals' as commies or whatever, as you said. The problem is, you're not just denying 'liberal' as the Republican demonized version, which you're right to to. You're also wanting to deny liberal as left at all, and to revert to a more ancient definition which would be quite different that its modern actual meaning in American politics - something Republicans like to do when not just demonizing it. Just as liberals could point out the difference between 19th century conservatives such as Edmund Burke and today's plutocrats who call themselves conservatives.
  15. Looking for a set of responses

    No. Liberal DOES have multiple meaning - one being as in 'liberal arts' - but the relevant one is the political faction that believes in things like equal rights and democracy and helping those in need and good government. You state a straw man when you paint a definition of liberal as 'indoctrination'. The opposition to liberal is plutocracy, authoritarianism, allowing needless suffering, e.g., the current Republican healthcare cuts.